Antec PLUS1080AMG SOHO File Server Tower ReviewBosco -
Price: $210 USD
Are you tired of your old, cramped, beige-coloured case? Does it have trouble keeping your system's components from becoming baked silicon? Do you dream about having a big, flashy server case that performs as well as it looks? Is your next idea of case improvement a roomy suit of armor that is heavier than it sounds? I can't guarantee the armor, but Antec's PLUS1080AMG SOHO File Server Tower should satisfy both your medieval dreams and computer temperature and real-estate requirements!
Not too long ago Antec started to produce their cases in a very special colour, dubbed "Antec Metallic Gray", or AMG. What's "different" about this colour is that there are practically no drives of any kind that are manufactured under this colour, so as a result, those who want to have a uniform-coloured front will be a little bit disappointed. On the other hand, however, the AMG is a nice balance between beige and black, and as such both black and white drives look nice on it, without the sudden black and white contrast.
The case comes packaged in a very nice-looking box. Everything you need to know is on the box, so with the exception of actually trying it out, you wouldn't need to crack open the box to identify its features.
Back of the box!
The AMG colour stands out boldly, and from these photos you can gather an intimidating feeling just from the case itself, unmodded, but imagine the countless possibilities that can come from some aspiring dremel-carrying individuals!
The front panel can be locked, but only to keep curious young ones from removing drives or pushing the buttons. Don't expect it to fend off a determined thief.
At the back of the case, you can see that it includes an I/O shield of its own, but you can always replace it with the one that came with your motherboard, if necessary.
Back of the case
Antec has even included a standard 80mm fan on the side panel, knowing that the majority of its users are often computer enthusiasts who will crank out as much juice as they can from their CPUs, and this means alot of cooling will be needed... but there's always water cooling!
The side panel can also be locked, but the for same reasons as stated above for the front panel. This is especially important since you don't want unsuspecting hands alluvasudden ripping cables apart and getting throughly zapped in the process.
Here we get to see the inside of the case, and while it has no removable motherboard tray, the amount of internal room available here should be more than enough for you to fit everything in.
Installing extra case fans in this case is a breeze. All you have to do is place the fan into the snap-in fan holder, and you're set. No more messing around with screws!
They may be black, but the side panel has no window in the first place! Two powerful exhaust fans await their task.
Here we see the removable drive bays. The lower one includes another fan bracket, so you can install another intake fan here, if you so desire.
Finally, all the motherboard cables. Apart from your standard Power and Reset switches, you also have the Power and HDD LEDs, as well as the PC Speaker cable. This case also includes two additional LEDs, labelled I and II, respectively, and have no pre-determined use, so you can use them however you please.
The USB and FireWire cables are split individually. While this will make installation a little bit more difficult, it's good that they did that because some motherboards have do not follow the common order of pin layouts, and having individual plugs can alleviate this problem.